Kayakers recount deadly crocodile attack
The day Coetzee was attacked - December 7 - they saw three little crocodiles on the water, just 0.9m long. It had been raining for two days, so hard they didn't try to cook a meal. They had just finished more than 48km of whitewater. And they faced 320km of flat water, winding through rolling elephant grass-covered hills, before their final takeout.
They were in the middle of a stretch about 30m wide, paddling so close their blades would touch if they got out of synch. Coetzee was in the centre, Stookesberry a little in front on the left, and Korbulic a little behind on the right.
"I glanced over to measure that we were not paddling towards or away from each other. And just in my periphery I saw the crocodile come out of the water, and he got onto Hendri's left side - just the left shoulder with its mouth," Korbulic said.
Talking to villagers later, they figured the crocodile was at least 4.5m long and weighed up to 2 tons.
Stookesberry and Korbulic watched the overturned boat shaking for about 20 seconds as the crocodile pulled Coetzee from the tight-fitting cockpit. They then got off the river, composed themselves, and continued downstream to a village.
Coetzee's body has never been found, and he is presumed dead.
SHOOT: Very unlucky. Since they were side by side any one of the three could have been taken. Coetzee was in the middle, in a way the unlikeliest victim. Read more here.